Linux Candy

Linux Candy: projectM – music visualizer originally based on Milkdrop

Who loves eye candy? Don’t be shy — you can raise both hands! Both feet too if you’re sufficiently pliant.

Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We only feature open-source software in this series.

projectM is an advanced music visualizer which uses 3D accelerated iterative image based rendering. Experience psychedelic and mesmerizing visuals by transforming music into equations that render into a limitless array of user-contributed visualizations.

projectM can detect audio input from any application or you can use input from a microphone.


The project doesn’t provide any official packages for popular Linux distros. There is a package in the Ubuntu repositories called libvisual-projectm. Don’t use that. Instead we recommend grabbing the project’s compressed tarball (projectM-3.1.12.tar.gz) and compile manually. Here are the steps to build projectM with its Qt graphical frontend.

Install the dependencies (some of these packages may already be present on your system).

$ sudo apt install libtool pkg-config libglm-dev qtbase5-dev qtchooser qt5-qmake qtbase5-dev-tools qtdeclarative5-dev libgles2-mesa-dev libpulse-dev

Download the file projectM-3.1.12.tar.gz (from the project’s GitHub repository – see Summary section for link) and change into the directory you saved this file. Issue these commands:

$ tar zxvf projectM-3.1.12.tar.gz
$ cd projectM-3.1.12
$ ./configure --enable-pulseaudio --enable-qt --enable-gles LIBS="-lQt5Gui -lQt5OpenGL"

Compile with the command:

$ make

You can speed up compilation by using the -j flag e.g. $ make -j6 if you have a 6 core processor.

Install with the command:

$ sudo make install

You can then start the program from the menu entry or from the command line with the command $ projectM-pulseaudio.

Installing the software under Arch and Arch-based distros is much easier as there are convenient packages available.

Next page: Page 2 – In Operation

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation / Summary

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1 year ago

I definitly want a vizualizer that work on my pc led. Change colors, rythms, intensities. Just wants to see my pc enjoying musics 😀

1 year ago